My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hamburger Gravy Pot Pie

Hamburger Gravy Pot Pie. Before I go any mom and brothers will flip out when they realize I actually eat hamburger gravy now and that I like it enough to put the recipe on the blog. Yes, during my childhood it was my LEAST favorite food. I whined, complained and fed it to my dog when no one was looking! Yes, I  hated hamburger gravy. I wasn't a picky eater but but it was one thing I threw a fuss about eating. Unfortunately for dad and brothers LOVED it so we had it regularly - usually served over mashed potatoes or biscuits or toast. Then my parents fed it to my kids and they LOVED it so I got stuck making it for my kids when they begged for it. EWWW!

Years later...I decide that I do actually like hamburger gravy when it is paired with corn bread. (Anything tastes good with corn bread!) I have taken one of my family's favorite recipes and made it gluten free. I used to make a decent sized batch then I would serve the hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes or biscuits the first night and later in the week I would take the left over gravy and put it in a casserole dish and put some prepared Jiffy corn bread mix on top and bake it up as a "pot pie". Since Jiffy corn bread muffin mix is not gluten free...I have created my own Gluten Free Corn Bread Muffin Mix that tastes pretty darn close to Jiffy! (The post for Corn Bread Muffin Recipe is on my blog December 2012 but I also included the basic recipe below for convenience).

My dad passed away almost two years ago and I think about him frequently but for some reason...he was really on my mind today. I had a large pack of ground hamburger in my refrigerator and seriously planned on making hamburgers but before I knew it...I was making my dad's favorite meal...hamburger gravy (although he called it SOS). My husband was pleasantly surprised because I almost NEVER make this dish unless it is requested. He calls it "hillbilly hamburger gravy" but he smiles as he SHOVELS it in! Even though I like it...I wouldn't normally call it one of my favorite meals but I will say that this particular batch tasted extremely tasty. I am not sure if I was just really hungry or if the happy thoughts of my dad made the meal taste more flavorful. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and I wanted to share it. Although it is a pretty basic recipe and I assume most people know how to make it... a few of my friends & my kids stated they would love my here it goes:

Hamburger Gravy Pot Pie: (makes 9x13 pan)
  • 1 pound lean ground hamburger (I used 93% lean because I don't my gravy greasy). You can also substitute ground sausage, ground game meat or chipped beef or shredded beef. I usually just stick with hamburger gravy because that is what my mom always made and that is what my family likes.
  • 1 tsp. steak seasoning (I used Santa Paula brand that I picked up at 99cent store because I really like the flavor of it but you can use your favorite brand - check labels if you have a gluten allergy!)
  • 1 tsp. Better than Bouillon beef flavor which is gluten free & concentrated. If you don't have that then you can use 3 tsp. gluten free beef bouillon OR 1/2 packet of gluten free dry onion soup mix well crushed so the onions are extremely fine!
  • 1 tbs. finely grated onion (you don't want onion chunks in this - just the flavor so I prefer grating the onion on a grater or you can substitute dried onion from the spice aisle just crush it first so it is in really small bits. If you use the onion soup mix then you can omit the grated onion)
  • pinch of salt (I used smoked sea salt but regular table salt will work also)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated garlic or 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4-5 tbs. corn starch or tapioca starch to thicken "gravy" (I used corn starch today)
  • milk (enough to make a gravy - I used about 2 cups
  • Corn bread muffin mix batter (see my recipe below for my gluten free corn bread muffin mix and you will use 3 cups mix + 2 eggs, 4 tbs. oil, 2/3 cup milk OR if you don't have a gluten allergy you can just prepare 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Bread muffin mix)
In a large skillet (I use my cast iron skillet) brown the hamburger, steak seasoning, bouillon, onion, salt & garlic on medium heat. If your hamburger is really lean like mine was then you don't need to drain the grease - I really didn't have much, around 1 tablespoon. A little grease (1-2 tablespoons is fine but if you have more grease then drain it off but try not to drain off the seasonings). Combine the cornstarch with a few tablespoons of water to make a thick but smooth paste. (I find it easiest to put the cornstarch in a small empty baby food or jelly jar and add a little water & put the lid on and shake until smooth. If the paste is clumpy and super thick just add a little more water - just a few drops at a time until you get the right texture). Once the cornstarch/water is smooth but still thick, pour onto the ground beef in the skillet. Pour on the milk then cook on medium heat until it starts to boil then reduce heat to low/simmer. I like to simmer mine for at least 20 minutes so the flavors blend. You may need to add more milk to get the consistency you want. Taste before serving to see if you need to add additional salt or garlic. 

Hamburger gravy in the skillet simmering
At this point you can serve the hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes, biscuits, toast, corn bread or whatever you like. We like ours made into a "pot pie". Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and spoon the hamburger gravy into pan. Top with prepared but uncooked corn bread muffin batter (my gluten free recipe is below but if you don't have a gluten allergy you can just use Jiffy corn bread muffin mix). Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown and firm to touch. (The hamburger gravy is already cooked so you are just basically baking it until the cornbread is completely cooked). Serve immediately. Since we are "empty nesters" at my house now...I usually make a batch and put it into two 8x8 pans instead of 9x13 pan. That way I can either freeze the second pan for a later date or I can share one with my son Drew that loves it and lives close by now. 

Spooning the cornbread batter over the hamburger gravy before cooking
Just removed Hamburger Gravy Pot Pie from oven

Hamburger Gravy Pot Pie ready to eat! (See how fluffy the cornbread baked on top looks?)

Corn Bread Muffin Recipe (Copy cat for Jiffy brand)
1.5 cups of the mix = 1 small box of Jiffy corn bread muffin mix.
(Recipe below is equivalent to 1 small box of Jiffy corn bread/muffin mix)
  • 2/3 cup flour (I used my gluten free flour blend, see recipe below but if you don't have a gluten allergy then you can just use regular flour!)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (I prefer using 1/4 cup corn flour + 1/4 cup polenta but cornmeal works fine too)
  • 1/8 cup sugar (you can add a little less if you don't care for sweet muffins or add a smidge more sugar if you prefer them slightly sweeter. You can also substitute raw sugar or stevia. If using stevia check box for how much to substitute!)
  • 1 tbs. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Mix ingredients together with a fork or spoon. If you are not using it right away, you can store it in a ziploc bag, glass jar or rubbermaid container. I like to double or triple the recipe so I have it on hand when I need it. 1.5 cups of the mix = 1 small box of Jiffy corn bread muffin mix.

To prepare muffins, combine 1.5 cups of the mix with 1 egg, 2tbs. oil or melted butter and 1/3 cup milk by hand and let stand for about 5 minutes before putting into either greased muffin cups or paper lined muffin cups. Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 13-18 minutes or until lightly golden on top and muffin springs back when gently touched or toothpick inserted comes out clean.

My gluten free version of Jiffy Corn Bread Muffins = Yummy!

Gluten Free Flour Blend Recipe:
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup white rice flour 
  • 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour or soy flour
  • 1 cup potato starch (not flour)
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk, make sure it is very fine in texture
  • 1 cup corn starch or tapioca starch (I used corn starch for this batch)
  • 3 tbs. xanthan gum
Combine all ingredients together well. I store mine in a glass container and use it in place of regular flour in most of my recipes. *Glutinous rice flour does not contain gluten, it is made from sticky rice. 

I hope you enjoyed my very casual and hillbilly style dinner recipe!
Gluten Free Casually

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